Save it on the hard drive!!!Save it on the hard drive!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Today’s mental workout for reflection Fridays hones in on the power of memory. Not just remembering things which is of course important, but also learning to apply through experience. Therefore we have to constantly work on our minds to remember vital data that can assist us. Like other high level brain functions, power of memory can be improved through focused mental workout, therefore practice. If one wants to be a better writer, they must write more. If one wants to be a better musician, they must practice more. If one want to be a better athlete, they must practice more. If you want to improve your memory, make time to practice. Improving your memory will improve your brain performance hence your life. Memory of course served us well in our schooling days, you absorbed the necessary facts in order to pass tests and so on. In adult life, the importance of memory is not just to show off to your friends at dinner parties regurgitating facts nobody may particularly care for, but to relate valuable information. It’s highly advantageous in life if you develop a powerful memory to connect new information to data already stored in your memory bank. This is one bank that pays you real dividends without asking you to sacrifice your vital organs.

Focusing on developing your memory is a great weapon against age deterioration. The constant battle to continue your lifelong learning is the best fight of all. The reason memory fades over time is because not enough effort and mental workout is done to continue its development after schooling. The key is to constantly build new connections and enhance the quality of existing connections. New scientific evidence reveals that memory is far more complex and involves more moving parts of the brain than was previously thought. One must simply become more self-aware, learn to involve more senses in their life experience. Evoke emotions and your feelings, moods etc to help you remember things. It triggers the brain to remember the things that are dearest to your heart and important to you. The most basic way to consider is that the process of memory begins with encoding, then proceeds to storage and, hopefully, retrieval at the opportune time. The brain’s Hippocampus helps consolidate information from short-term memory to long-term by sending the data across multiple pathways creating links. If you come across something that you absolutely must recall, strengthen those links by involving more senses. The strengthened memory paths, enhanced with environment connections, become a staple of long-term memory.

Let’s evaluate some simple steps to improve your memory. Of course before improving our memory, we have to absorb some information first. That’s something we can all do unless you are a member of congress. First choose an interesting topic, focus your attention for about 10 minutes on extracting some pertinent data that can enhance your day to day life. Set a reminder in your phone or calendar to recall as much of that information as possible in three intervals later in the day. Try gathering about 10 pertinent points on a piece of paper. Break down concepts into recognizable identifiers and see how many you can recall later in the exercises. Have some fun in the process, involve more senses, paint a visual picture in your mind, relate things to sounds, scents and past experiences. Use vivid imagery, our brains evolved to code and interpret complex stimuli such as images, colors, and structure recognition. Incorporate some associations that can trigger information you already have stored in your memory bank. Use your Imagination to strengthen links and associations, give your mind what it craves, stimulation. Choosing criteria that can help you in life sets the stage for invoking long-term memory storage. You can kill two birds with one stone, learn information that helps you now in addition to strengthening your memory. Practice, practice! As always, make it a memorable mental workout.